ANC region mourns death of two leaders

Mhlaba Memela

Mhlaba Memela

The ANC in Kwazulu-Natal says its south region is in mourning after two senior leaders died at the weekend.

On Saturday, Umkhambathini deputy mayor Sihlangu Mkhize, 39, was shot dead outside his parent's home at Mid-Illovo outside Durban. Yesterday, the party confirmed that "Ntshebe" Ngobese, 50, died at Durban's St Augustine's Hospital on Sunday after a short illness.

Both were members of the party's eThekwini south region.

ANC eThekwini chairman John Mchunu said this had been a sad week for the party.

"We have lost two dedicated comrades who were still very much involved in the fight against poverty," Mchunu said.

Ngobese, "a pillar of strength" in his Umlazi G section, worked closely with the community to improve his area. He was also active in the fight against crime, Mchunu added.

"Mkhize was committed to service delivery and ending corruption in his municipality.

"The entire ANC family in the area is shocked at this tragic loss of two outstanding leaders. We are making funeral arrangements as both will be buried in our region," Mchunu said.

The party called on police to make a quick arrest in Mkhize's murder. Umlazi local councillor Sthenjwa Nyawose said the "community is in pain" after Ngobese's death.

"Ngobese was responsible for negotiating peace between the IFP and ANC in our area. He played a pivotal role in fighting the criminal group Izintandane, who had terrorised the residents of both Umlazi and KwaMashu," he said.

Izintandane allegedly killed, robbed and raped people in the townships. The group claimed to be orphans who had lost their parents during the struggle.

Nyawose said the group claimed that because they had lost their parents in the struggle and were unemployed, they had a right to rob people.

"He helped clean up crime in his section when we started Operation Washa Two. Criminals feared him. The infrastructure we have in our area was a result of his efforts," Nyawose said.